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Badass Boudoir

I met Erica through my brilliantly talented friend Agnes, of YBC. We have been together on many collaborative projects, but never had the chance to shoot together until these past NYC dates. 

To say that this strong, badass, sexy female is inspiring is a bit of an understatement. I mean I complain when I have cramps from my period, and here she is, just days after another chemo treatment posing as if her life depended on it.  Now I am only beginning to get to know this babe, but just from experience, I can already tell this is how she approaches all of life. She goes and she goes hard and she inspires the fuck out of me!

Erica and I share a mutual love for 90’s culture, me on the grunge side and her on the hiphop side, so there was no question that we were totally going to run with that as part of the theme for our session!  It was only aided by the awesome new art at The Hotel on Rivington.

I really love this session, seeing Erica’s badassery really inspired me to push myself to see more, see bigger and photograph beyond the standard portrait.

I asked Erica, as I do all of our #LRPBoudieBeauties if she had anything she wanted to share with the reader’s of our blog and here is what she had to say:

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“My life has been a series of incredible events. Some beautiful…. Some tragic….mostly magical as of lately. As I look at the images Lindsay captured of me I am again reminded that regardless of what am a dealing with at the moment, being photographed by my soul sisters makes my heart swell with love. I am a mom, a business owner, a nurse and a hopeless romantic. Currently I am battling cancer for the 4th time and its is exhausting. That being said my life light burns brightly and I am truly blessed to be surrounded by my tribe of artsy ladies!!!!! Lindsay made me feel so fierce and calm and shooting with her was incredible. Never give up….I know I won’t #fuckcancer”

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#FUCKCANCER

Fine Art Boudoir – The Queen

“For most of my life I have been adored by fools and hated by people of good sense, and they all make up stories about me in which I am either a saint or a whore.

But I am above these judgments, I am a Queen.” ~ Philippa Gregory, The Other Queen

But I am above these judgments, I am a Queen.

 

I absolutely love the above quote and love it even more for this session.  I am sure Katey of MayMac Lingerie is becoming a familiar face around here, she is one of my muses and an absolutely brilliant corsetter and designer…but aside from being absolutely stunning, there is a depth and story to this woman that goes so far beneath the surface. When I first shared the teasers with Katey she told me she had already planned exactly what she wanted to say about her session. Despite having been in front of the camera of (in my opinion) some of the worlds most talented photographers, this was her first time stripping completely down. To say I was honored that she was not just willing, but eager to take this giant leap with me, would be an understatement.  I felt a sense of responsibility to honor her and her story and I hope that we were able to do that.

I think that is enough speaking from me this time around.  I want you all to read what Katey has to say, and read it again. Because what we see on the outside is not always reflective of what is on the inside and this woman shows us the true depth to feminine strength and beauty.

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“I got naked. I got naked because I wanted to, not because I wanted attention from a man, not because I want to be sexualized, not because I want to promote this body positive image the media is telling us is trendy, not because I want you all to think I love my body.
I got naked because I am an artist and I believe the human body is art, it is beautiful…an art that is lost because we are all too busy shaming the body and over sexualizing it.

I got naked because I am an artist and I believe the human body is art

I got naked because I was afraid to start modeling again after months of depression, self mutilation and a suicide attempt. I didn’t want to explain the scars…I was afraid of them….but I’m no longer embarassed or ashamed.
I love my body. Not because I love my curves and am caught up in this “curvy plus size body positive” movement, but because it survived when my mind didn’t want it to. We all have a battle, a journey, a path…we all have a body.”


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Fitness Boudoir

I hate calling this a trend, but I am loving the new “trend” in women owning not only their mental strength but their physical strength as well.  There has been such a surge of beauties requesting more fitness inspired boudoir sessions.

It is so true when they say that “Strong is beautiful.”

This Boss Babe in particular has us 50 shades of inspired.  She is the CEO (and still an artist) at one of the largest, most beautiful high-end salons in the Capital Region, she has overcome more than I can explain on my own (read below for her story) and she is the epitome of strength.  Before she was my client, we were facebook friends, which means I have had the opportunity to watch slowly her incredible and amazing fitness transformation.

If anyone ever tells you that girls can’t do what boys can do…just look at this hottie and tell them this:

YOU ARE RIGHT, THEY DO IT BETTER.

Now to hear the journey right from the mouth of babes:

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“I was a weight watchers kid….

Raised by a mom that was always into fitness an “aerobics” instructor. Through middle school always being asked if I wanted to go to weight watchers with her. Always weighing my food, counting out each pretzel, going to meetings etc. I was never heavy at all. Just a little plump. It led me to an eating disorder when I was in college. I was bulimic for a number of years. Went from a size 12 to a 6 in a short amount of time. I realized I had a problem when my mom and I were in a store and when I got into those size 6’s she burst into tears. I hid my problem for a while. Until one day, I, in the middle of an episode I felt like I was having a heart attack. My chest hurt so bad I couldn’t breath and it brought me to tears. I knew it was time to stop what I was doing or else I could die. So instead I resorted to eating only steamed vegetables and anything “fat free” I could get my hands on. I Knew that wasn’t a healthy choice either but it kept me thin. I knew it was time to get some help. I’ve always had some sort of body dismorphia. I was never happy with the way that I looked or felt. My breasts were always large. I had a breast reduction and a lift when I was about 25. And from there it led me toward a life of fitness. I could finally run!!!! And I didn’t have to wear 3 sports bras to exercise. I started training with a trainer and started getting into really good shape. Started to learn how to eat properly and taking care of my body. I fell off the wagon because I was “enjoying” my twenties a little too much as most twenty year olds do. I eventually got into yoga and from there trained for my yoga certification. I then started training at Metabolic Meltdown by the influence of a few friends and coworkers. I instantly became addicted. Went to my first fitness show and was instantly inspired to do a show myself! Currently, I am training for my first figure show on November 12 with the help of my trainer Alexa Elia and Metabolic Meltdown workouts. As far as the salon goes, I opened it in 2006, I was 28 years old and knew I wanted to have my own salon before I turned 30. It was rough. I spent many nights sleeping in my salon and built it from the ground up with no hand outs. So we are celebrating our 10th year this year! As a business owner, I have been learning lesson after learning lesson and it is not an easy ride at all… people come and go, think they can do it better than you or on their own. It’s not for everyone. But our program is a program designed to build future leaders of Stiletto Salon. I am so ready to “share the wealth” with my company to those that want it. It’s not a program for the faint of heart but one that is looking to grow through hard work and pressure and a proven success to those that follow our program. We have built a brand!! A name. A reputation. A thought. A profession. A go to place. An experience. I have reached a point in my career that my stylists, coworkers, employees are my heartbeat. They wake me up every day! I am their leader and I want them to rely on me to help build a future and quality of life for them. I found Lindsay’s work on Instagram and became instantly obsessed. I’ve seen other Boudoir photographers but they all just looked trashy and unprofessional. Being in a place where I love my body now…. I am so happy with how far I’ve come through all this hard work. It is amazing through each stage and transformation to see my body change. It’s really cool. My shoot has impacted me. It has inspired me to capture a very special part of my life and it has allowed me to to feel comfortable with myself and not be afraid to hide the work I’ve done to get here. I want everyone to know that as women we need to empower each other instead of hate on each other”

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Hair and Makeup by our resident Glam Goddess Erin Marie Artistry

Mixing Fine Art with Boudoir

I have been really loving bringing a more Fine Art feel to our Boudoir sessions! It has been especially awesome because it gives our babes a reason to come back for more! Going from super sexy studio sessions, to still sexy but more a more refined aesthetic conceptual art.

Channeling vintage art and museum style displays, our new Fine Art Boudoir sessions are high end, classy, sexy and even channel the avant-garde and will showcase you as a work of art worthy of adorning the finest of homes.

This session was a particularly special one for me. It was a really awesome day for the artistic soul where a group of my photographer friends and our model friends all got together at my friend Agnes’s magical mountain house and just dropped all of life’s stresses, all concepts of work, and really just submitted to the creative process.  It was a day of bonding and really pushing ourselves to create on the fly.

Minimal planning, no professional makeup, and simply using the resources around us we all created such different work that day.  I knew that we wanted to do something with fabric, but when I saw that our friend had this sheer ivory one, I knew right away that we needed to work with it.

This type of soul replenishing, go with the flow, unplanned day is exactly what the doctor ordered to spark new inspiration and set the tone for the rest of 2016!

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How amazing is this Fine Art Framed Metallic Canvas Estate Art piece?! I cannot wait to add it as the last installment to the gallery wall in our home studio!!
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1 in 4: Overcoming the Statistic

“Me: ok, so I am doing another blog that is very deep. It is about rape and sexual assault
Do you think I should share about my own experiences? Or maybe keep my personal life out if it?

Liz: That’s a tough one…maybe allude to your understanding but not get into details..makes you more human I think.

Me: I guess I wish it wasn’t a bad thing to talk about.
like, I wish i could say:
I was 18, and took a pill for what I thought was a headache, to be knocked out and wake up unable to move with a man on top of me,
only for him to be removed by my best friend when she came back in from having a cigarette.
Or that “B” tried to attack me the night before I got my drivers license and kicked me out of his car when I wouldn’t hook up with him…oh and he was a cop…
Or the guy in NYC that got me wasted and took me to a hotel and was violent with me to the point, to this day, I still have serious self-esteem issues.
Why cant we talk about these things?
Why?!
Why does it make ME look bad that someone did those things to me?
Because I put myself in those situations?
No! existing in a place doesn’t give another person the right to do that to me.
Why can’t we say that?!”

This is the conversation I had with my best friend about 5 minutes before I wrote this blog. I didn’t want to take away from Ms. C’s session, but I have dedicated years of my life to raising awareness for sexual assault and rape and no one has really known why this is such a big deal to me.  I don’t talk about it alot…in fact, I am pretty sure that reading the above conversation will be the first time that even my own mother will know that these things happened to me.

Tell me ladies, why? Why has it taken me almost 10 years to be able to talk about these things? Why have I been able to dedicate my life to the cause but don’t follow my own advice.

Enough is e-fucking-nough.

Did you know that 1 in 4 women will be sexually assaulted?  That is right. Look around your office, see 4 women, chances are 1 of those 4 women has been through something similar or worse than I have been through.

It is time to speak out. It is time to re-claim our bodies, re-claim our sexuality and re-claim our spirits.

THIS is where Ms. C comes into play.

I had hosted a contest a few months ago in my private group, the contest was to tell me why you needed to have a boudoir session.  Like most women, Ms.C didn’t want to post her story publicly at first, because she didn’t want pitty on a long blog thread of so many amazing stories, so she emailed me. Reading her email I saw myself, I saw my pain, my fear, my journey. I saw her. I saw through it to what she was going through and why this session was so important to her to help her re-claim the part of herself that I know, from experience, is so easily lost.

I will let her take it from here:

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“Self-love for me didn’t exist.  There was always that nagging voice in my head that was telling me I wasn’t good enough or that I deserved to be treated in the ways that I was.  I was a people pleaser that broke her back for others and always said sorry.  I feel like this is an all too familiar feeling for so many women I know.

            I am also part of a statistic.   I am one in four.   One in four of women that has been sexually assaulted.  No matter how hard I tried I always felt his presence and saw his everlasting marks when I looked at myself in the mirror.  I tried what I thought would work and what others told me would help, but the key reason I didn’t grow and heal was because I didn’t believe in myself.  I just wanted it all to be over and I thought, as they said, time would heal.  It didn’t for me, because I was static.

            A little more than a year ago I met someone who has guided me to take care of myself, love myself, to give love to those who really deserve it and most of all the strength to finally begin healing.  Little by little I began to see what she saw.  Through this journey I did different things to reclaim my body and when I saw the contest post by Lindsay for a Self-Love Experience, I knew I had to enter.  I wanted to reclaim the body I used to dread to see in the mirror.  To have pictures of myself where I no longer saw the worn down woman that that man had created.

I always felt that disconnected with my body if I felt sexy because I associated this image of myself with what lured him in to do this to me.

            My photo shoot with Lindsay was perfect.  I felt one with my body and sexy.  These two things are still very hard for me because I always felt that disconnected with my body if I felt sexy because I associated this image of myself with what lured him in to do this to me.  I was so comfortable the entire time and each time she would show me a sneak peek of a picture during the shoot I was overcome with emotion.  That was me on the camera.  Me.  Leaving that photo shoot I really understood what my lover saw in me and I was happy to finally see it for myself.  My journey is far from over, but I know this shoot helped me so much on my journey to self-love.”

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Thank you Ms.C! Thank you for your bravery and thank you for proof, that we can re-claim and learn to love ourselves again. You are sexy beyond belief and inspiring beyond that. It has been an honor to work with you and to raise my voice with you in the effort to Speak Out.

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Hair and Makeup by the incomparable Erin Marie Artistry.

If you or someone you know has been a victim of rape or sexual assult, there is help. Contact the RAINN Organization:

https://www.rainn.org/

800.656.HOPE (4673)

Body Form

It is always awesome to have a returning #LRPBoudieBeauty! This was my 2nd session with this gorgeous gal and we decided to push the limits a little bit more with this session and really put a focus on exploring body form.  What does body form mean you ask? Well to us, it is showing off more than just how sexy a body is, but looking deeper at all the curves and edges and lines of the body.  These body form shoots often take the form of nude or implied nude Fine Art sessions.

…looking deeper at all the curves and edges and lines of the body.

Ms. S and I decided that we would keep this session as minimalist as possible. A little craft glitter on the shoulders and the clothes left behind. Minimalist if you will. Allowing the body to shine as its own work of art….and what a work of art it is.

We started out at the lake just after sunrise and then made our way over to my home away from home, Che’Arch, to take advantage of that beautiful morning light.

I am really looking forward to exploring more Body Form sessions with future boudie babes!

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